A winter 2021 Message from Shannon
We are now in our 3rd Lockdown. We have recently learned it will last a bit longer with school-age children and youth possibly returning to school in early March. This Lockdown seems more difficult than the previous two ... perhaps due to the season of the year where we have to spend more time inside or the concern over the faster spreading virus variants.
However, we trust there will be an end to all of this at some point because of the vaccines that are now being administered to the population. So we wait until our age group (or other determining factors) is called up for the jab! As a nation we are waiting to see the case numbers and hospitalisation numbers decline. We are waiting for our children to go back to in-person learning at their schools. We are waiting for non-essential businesses and other things we enjoy to reopen once it's safe again. We are waiting to book foreign holidays. We are waiting ... Waiting can be such a difficult thing especially when that waiting extends over a long period of time.
When I think of scripture, I am reminded what the psalmist wrote about waiting - and in particular, waiting for the Lord. In Psalm 130:5 it is written "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope". I also think back to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness and waiting for God to lead them into the Promised Land. That trek took around 40 years or so! Jesus himself, waited until the timing was right to begin his public ministry. The disciples had to wait three days after Jesus' death to experience his resurrection. And Christians have been waiting nearly 200 years for Christ to return. So maybe the Church does know something about waiting!
But we don't have to be passive in our time of waiting. Recently, our national hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore, passed away from Covid 19. However, during the first Lockdown he inspired the UK and many other countries by setting a goal to walk 100 laps of his garden by his 100th birthday. He raised a tremendous amount of funds for the NHS in doing this. He did what he could to make a difference. And I think each one of us can do the same. We can pray, we can phone people to prevent isolation, we can shop for others' groceries, we can have a coffee over Zoom, and we can send cards.
We don't always have to be active every minute of the day in our waiting. In fact, the Psalmist also penned these words which I trust were divinely inspired: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Often times it is in the stillness that we can draw close to God. May we not be dismayed in this time of waiting and may we have hope.
Waiting with hope,
-_- Rev. Shannon
We are a small church made up of people with very broad and diverse understandings of what it means to be a Christian in the 21st Century. We are on a journey through life and we believe that an important part of that journey is working out our faith under the guidance of God's Spirit and in light of our own experience, so that we can live out the unconditional love that Jesus showed to all people.
A few words from our Minister
Hello I am Shannon, the minister here at Ben Rhydding Methodist church.
If you are visiting our website, I hope you find the information that you are looking for. If not feel free to contact me or pop in to church and visit us.
Here at Ben Rhydding you will meet a group of welcoming, open folk whose approach to the Christian tradition is one which affirms the variety and depth of our human experience and the richness of each person’s search for meaning. Consequently we invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us. As individuals we follow our own spiritual path and at Ben Rhydding we understand that these paths enable us to find relevance and meaning as we journey together.
If you are interested in exploring your faith and spiritual life with a broad thinking community you have found the right place, it is an exciting time to be in the church! As new insights and new connections emerge there are many conversations, debates and challenges to explore together. We would be delighted if you wanted to come and join us as we seek to discover what it means to be people of faith and the Christian church in the 21st century.
Sadly the church has now been closed completely in order to assist in the effort to control the virus which is causing such devastation